LARA KLAWIKOWSKI SPRING/SUMMER 2013 collection showcased at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Cape Town

PHOTOGRAPHER Simon Deiner / SDR Photo

Blindsight’

After visiting the Institute for the Blind and seeing the creative work they do, I became very aware of how dependent my career is on my sense of sight. I was intrigued by the idea of an imaginary state of blindness and what I would see in this state. I imagined seeing a canvas of pure white or pure black and shades in between, depending on the strength of the lighting in my environment.

I was inspired by how the visually impaired see a texture by feeling it; how a sharper contrast in texture gives a more vivid image in the mind’s eye. I have used traditional cane-weaving techniques as inspiration for delicate woven panels with subtle geometry and mind-consuming texture, and haphazard pleating/sculpting to enhance the contrast in 3-dimensionality and mimic how the visually impaired may encounter unexpected shapes and re-construct them.

As a conceptual designer I create fashion as art. The S/S 2013 collection was a move to make a more commercial and accessible range, whilst retaining artistic details of my couture designs.